Torroella de Montgrí-L’Estartit-Medes Islands has been selected as one of 2017’s Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. This ranking is compiled by the international association Green Destinations, in conjunction with some 20 organizations that work to promote sustainable tourism. The award is meant to provide visibility to the work of tourist destinations in support of sustainability and to promote best practices. One hundred international experts participate in the evaluations and selection of the winners.
The councillors for Tourist Destination and Coastal Management and Beaches, Sandra Pibernat and Sílvia Comas, collected the award on 28 September during the opening ceremony of the Greenfest-Global Green Destinations Event 2017, held this year in Cascais (Portugal). It is one of the leading international congresses dedicated entirely to sustainable tourism.
Torroella de Montgrí and L'Estartit have shown a firm commitment to sustainability in all its different aspects. It is a core concept that cuts across all municipal policies: planning, environmentally responsible tourism development, mobility, energy conservation, optimization of public forest management, rehabilitation of natural spaces, enhancement and protection of natural areas and habitats, among others.
Dossier on Sustainability
Recently, the City Council published a comprehensive professional dossier to communicate current and past efforts in the municipality in the area of sustainability. This dossier details the evolution of municipal planning, the application of the different environmental protection measures (Catalan Plan for Areas of Natural Interest (PEIN), Natura 2000 Network, Natural Park), the effects of protection on natural spaces, the awards and European accreditations achieved, the mobility plan, the waste management efforts, the sustainability and energy conservation agreement, and the LIFE project, among others. This dossier is an effective working tool that that has been used at several international tourism fairs specializing in active tourism and nature tourism. It has also been sent to tour operators and specialized media outlets.
European Tourism Indicators System for Sustainable Destinations
We should note that, in 2014, the Torroella de Montgrí City Council participated in the pilot project developed by the tourism unit of the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROWTH) involving a new indicators system to help assess the sustainability and competitiveness of European tourist destinations. The results of that pilot programme led to a series of discussion sessions, held in Brussels in November of 2015, and an awards ceremony, held in April 2016, to acknowledge the destinations that were most committed to the implementation of these indicators, during which the Torroella de Montgrí City Council was recognized as a model for best practices.